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Repeat Lodi drug dealer gets 10 years for selling cocaine at day-care center

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: A Lodi man who sold cocaine at a Garfield day-care center where he worked was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday.

“I think society needs to be protected from him,” Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi said.

Eric “E. Love” Hill, 45, was arrested and charged with 10 counts of drug dealing and possession after he sold cocaine to undercover officers at Lincoln School No. 6 on Palisade Avenue twice in September 2012 and again two months later.

Public defender Gail Hargrove argued for a six-year term out of compassion for a man who “has come to grips with things that a lot of people in is position eventually realize” and “is trying to turn his life around.

“I’ll just put it out there, judge,” she said.  “He’s a low level drug dealer.  This is not a big operator.”

Hill had eight prior convictions — including two for selling in school zones — before the more resent arrest, DeAvila-Silebi said, adding that he “was caught red-handed” this time.

“He told investigators the bills were accumulating, and he needed extra money,” DeAvila-Silebi said. “His avocation is to sell drugs. That’s what he was doing, and what he continues to do.”

Hill must serve three years before he’s eligible for parole and will have his driver’s license suspended for a year after his release, under the sentence.


STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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